RIDGEFIELD — One of his Ridgefield boys lacrosse teammates told Matt Shepard that Wilton wanted to shoot low Saturday afternoon on the junior goalie.
He was ready with a handful of big stops in the second half to preserve a lead, and the No. 2 Tigers pulled away late to beat No. 4 Wilton 11-7 at Tiger Hollow.
“I haven’t been doing that good on my down-low shots,” Shepard said. “I just knew what was coming. Watch their stick, watch their shoulders, sometimes watch their eyes and know where it was going.”
Freshman attackman Kyle Colsey scored five goals in the second half, including back-to-back tallies to erase a 6-5 Warriors lead and give Ridgefield the lead for good.
Shepard’s save in tight on Wilton’s Jackson Kelly off a sharp Will Hughes feed kept it 8-7. C.J. Lauretani scored on a rebound a little over two minutes later, and Colsey finished it off with two goals late.
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“We had great looks,” Wilton coach Steve Pearsall said. “He made some great saves. Give him credit for that. Bottom line, we’ve got to shoot better. We had some weak shots in the beginning of the game. At the end, would’ve been nice to bury that one. It happens.
“Against a team like Ridgefield, we have to capitalize on our opportunities and bury our shots when we have them.”
Both teams were coming off top-five, FCIAC losses, Ridgefield (4-1, 2-1 conference) to No. 1 Darien, Wilton (2-3, 0-2) to No. 5 New Canaan.
This capped a run of four top-10 home games for Ridgefield, in fact, including wins over New Canaan and No. 6 Fairfield Prep. The season began with a win over defending-from-2019 Class S champion St. Joseph.
“When we started the season, I knew what the first five games were. I knew it was a little bit of a gauntlet,” Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey said, “but man, I’m exhausted.
“No. 1, every game has required just a ridiculous amount of coaching and adjustments and reminding the guys what we’re trying to do and what needs to be done. We’re playing against good teams that, when you make a mistake, they’re going to capitalize.”
Until late, Saturday’s game was close. The biggest lead had been the Warriors’ 4-2 advantage after one quarter on goals from four different players.
A fifth made it 5-4, but Ridgefield ran off three goals in a row, capped by Luke Winkler’s third with 9.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
“We came out on the short end with New Canaan and Ridgefield, but we’re playing with the top teams, right?” Pearsall said. “I hate to say you need a loss to get it going, but we’re facing a little adversity here and we’ll see what we’re made of, see if we can bounce back.”
Spencer Liston helped Wilton dominate possession off faceoffs early; Kai Prohaszka evened it out a bit for Ridgefield, as he has several times in the early going. It’s not what Roy Colsey would prefer to do, since Prohaszka’s also the Tigers’ best defender.
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Roy Colsey said his older son, junior attackman Ryan, was nursing a groin injury that kept him from dodging much. Ryan Colsey still had a goal and an assist.
“Hopefully we’re over the hump. … A quarter of the season is done. I’m hoping one of these games we’re going to come out and look like we’ve played some lacrosse prior to this game because we’re still making so many mistakes. It’s fine in the beginning of the season, but we really need to move past that.” —Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey